The third and final season of Star Trek: Picard just streamed its last episode, titled appropriately enough “The Last Generation”, and it was a brilliant finale to an exceptional season for the TV show. *Warning: Spoilers will follow.
Star Trek: Picard as a series has been a mixed bag of a Star Trek show. While it was great to see Patrick Stewart reprise his role as retired Admiral Jean-Luc Picard, some of the episodes in the first season were not as well executed as they should have been. Meanwhile, the second season started strong but soon fell apart and became a big disappointment. So, in the final season of Star Trek: Picard, the showrunners, led by Terry Matalas, pulled out all stops to make this a worthy swan song to the legacy of Star Trek: The Next Generation (TNG). This included reuniting the core cast of that beloved TV show and numerous Member Berries recalling not just Star Trek: The Next Generation, but the original Star Trek, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Star Trek: Voyager and even other media like Star Trek Online. And you know what? It worked!
The third season of Star Trek: Picard quickly engaged viewers with reunions and beguiling mysteries that threatened the United Federation of Planets and Starfleet. Picard received a plea for help from Dr. Beverly Crusher (Gates McFadden), who he has not spoken to in decades. She and her young adult companion Jack (Ed Speleers) operate independent of the Federation and deliver medical aid to those that need it. They are also pursued by mercenaries led by the mysterious Vadic (Amanda Plummer). The problem is that Crusher is located just outside Federation space and Picard needs to find a way to get to her.
Picard enlists the help of his best friend and former first officer of the Enterprise-D, Will Riker (Jonathan Frakes), along with Seven of Nine (Jeri Ryan), who is the first officer of the Titan-A (a nice nod to Riker’s offscreen adventures as captain of the previous Titan). Together, they commandeer her ship to the edge of Federation space to rescue Crusher and Jack, who turns out to be Picard’s son. Their efforts unveil a vast conspiracy against Starfleet and the Federation itself involving Changelings (last seen in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine) and their unknown partner.
Everyone involved with the third season was at the top of their game and it was clear they were determined to turn the season into a love letter for fans. It is incredible that they succeeded as the TV show was exciting, full of emotion and great character moments. Some aspects of Star Trek: Picard evoked previous Star Trek tropes and plot points, but they were executed in a respectful and invigorating fashion that felt fresh. The best example of this were with the early episodes where Picard and the crew of the Titan-A played a cat-and-mouse game with Vadic and her ship the Shrike in a nebula that was clearly inspired by Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. Then there was the major subplot of Picard getting to know Jack, which was similar to Kirk’s relationship with his son David in that film. But it worked because these moments were not exact duplicates of the famous Trek film but added new wrinkles. Of course, what sold it was the execution with memorable acting and topnotch production values.Continue reading